Reference Date: 19-March-2015
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Provisional estimates point to a reduced cereal production in 2014
Inflation rates increased in 2014 due to higher fuel prices
Dire humanitarian situation among refugees from Central African Republic (CAR) and Nigeria impacting also host communities
March rains help start the cropping season
According to satellite imagery, seasonal r
ains started in March in southern parts of the country, allowing the sowing of the first maize crop of 2015. The planting of coarse grains will progress northwards following the onset of the rains.
In the absence of official forecasts, the 2014 aggregate cereal production is tentatively put at about 3 million tonnes, 3 percent down on the previous year’s output and similar to the average of the previous five years. The decline in cereal production was due to erratic and below-average rains in several parts of the country.
Inflation rates increased in 2014
According to the IMF, the average inflation rate, which was estimated at a low of 2 percent in 2013, increased to 3.2 percent in 2014, mainly due to an increase in fuel retail prices.
In the last several years, rates of inflation were highly volatile, varying from a low of 1 percent in 2007 to 5 percent in 2008 and then declining to 3 percent and 1 percent in 2009. Rates rose again in 2011 to 3 percent, declining to 2.4 percent in 2012.
Dire humanitarian situation among refugees from CAR and Nigeria
Cameroon is currently facing a difficult food situation in the Sahelian region of the country where malnutrition, epidemics and food insecurity are a threat to thousands of Cameroonians. In addition, the country is hosting over 300 000 refugees from both CAR and Nigeria, while about 117 700 individuals have been internally-displaced, notably in the areas bordering Nigeria due to civil insecurity. Taking into account the refugees who had entered the country in earlier waves since 2004 to escape rebel groups and bandits, the total number of refugees from CAR residing in Cameroon is currently estimated at about 243 000. Similarly, the influx of Nigerian refugees increased dramatically over the past few months following the deterioration of the security situation in northeastern Nigeria. Nearly 66 000 Nigerian refugees are estimated to be living in Cameroon, as of early March 2015. In February 2015, about 16 000 new Nigerian refugees entered the Far North region
following clashes in northeast Nigeria between regional military forces and Boko Haram insurgent
The refugee crisis has exacerbated the already difficult food situation. About 1.1 million people are estimated to be food insecure across the country. The regions most affected by food insecurity are Far North (545 000 individuals) and North (277 000 individuals). About 20 percent of the total number of food insecure individuals has been classified as severely food insecure. Refugees are severely affected by food insecurity: 75 percent of them have been classified as food insecure, of which 20 percent as severely food insecure and totally relying on humanitarian assistance. Incidence of food insecurity among host communities, estimated at 15 percent, is lower but still concerning.
Overall, the humanitarian situation in the areas where refugees from CAR and Nigeria sought refuge is dire, with host communities and refugees competing over the already depleted natural resources.
Humanitarian agencies, in close cooperation with the Government, are providing assistance to refugees and host communities; however, funding constrains and civil insecurity along the borders with Nigeria and CAR has limited the level of interventions to date.
In response to the needs of the increasing numbers of refugees and vulnerable resident households, the Cameroon Strategic Response Plan 2014-2016, launched in January 2014, has been scaled-up in July and currently appeals for USD 126 million.